A first-time Australian Open champion will be named on Sunday after the men’s final (3:30 a.m. ET; ESPN and ESPN+). Will it be three-time finalist Daniil Medvedev? Or will Jannik Sinner win his first Grand Slam title?
Our experts make their predictions.
What can Sinner do to defeat Medvedev?
Brad Gilbert: Sinner needs to continue to dominate the center of the court and continue his accurate wide serving in both courts, setting up lots of easy serve-plus-one shots, which have been very effective all tournament.
Bill Connelly: While Sinner has won three in a row against Medvedev, all three were close — two went three sets, and the other featured a pair of tiebreakers. So the little things will matter significantly.
In his three wins over Medvedev, for instance, Sinner saved 75% of break points compared to 51% in the losses. That, and his improvement against Medvedev’s second serve — he won 64% of Medvedev’s second-serve points in their Tour Finals meeting — were the biggest differences. If he can pounce on Medvedev’s second serve and win a majority of overall break points, he’s in great shape. (You’re in great shape in any match where you do that, come to think of it …)
D’Arcy Maine: Since this is his first major final, Sinner’s nerves will certainly be high. We saw him get tight in the third set against Novak Djokovic when he was trying to close out the match, so he will need to try to remain as calm and composed as possible. Easier said than done, to be sure.
Even though he’s known for his endurance, Medvedev is coming into the final having played five sets in both his semifinal and quarterfinal matches, so his energy level — especially compared to Sinner who has dropped just one set in Melbourne — could still be a weak spot. If Sinner comes out like he did against Djokovic on Friday — taking a staggering two-set lead in just 73 minutes — it’s hard to think Medvedev will physically be up for the challenge to stop him. A fast start, followed by continued aggression and keeping his focus, could be what Sinner needs to win his first major trophy.
Jake Michaels: There’s no need to change a winning formula, and I daresay that will be the mentality for Sinner and his camp heading into his maiden Slam final. Throughout the tournament, Sinner has served well, played tremendous defensive tennis, kept the unforced errors low and lifted his game in the clutch moments. If he’s able to continue checking all these…